Lesson 3: Principles of Communicative Language Teaching

Sequencing

Regardless of the particular module (e.g., speaking, reading, pragmatics, grammar, etc.), instructors stress the importance of sequencing activities to form a logical progression. Despite its importance for learning, novice teachers seem to find the concept of pedagogical sequencing, or layering, challenging at times because it requires the teacher to have the big picture—how the pieces of each activity build on previous activities and lead to a final whole.

Play

Verónica, a beginning language teacher, on the importance of activity "layers."

Duration: 01:23

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Verónica argues that pedagogical layering teaches students that language learning is an incremental, step-by-step process that cannot be rushed.

Do you agree with Verónica that novice teachers often forget how much time and effort language learning requires and try to speed up the process?

Implementing a Pedagogical Sequence

Another benefit of sequencing multiple activities into a single integrated lesson is that it allows the teacher to demonstrate how the whole (language) is built from many separate pieces (vocabulary, grammar, pragmatics, etc.). Each activity should logically build on what has been previously studied and lead naturally to a subsequent activity. Such a careful sequence helps to create pedagogical coherence that in turn helps students stay on task.

Play

Dr. Abrams on the benefits of a pedagogical sequence.

Duration: 01:51

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What does Dr. Abrams mean when she speaks about foreign language students becoming ethnographic/anthropological linguists? Do you think this is a reasonable goal for your students? Why or why not?